South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the naval exercises are taking place in waters off the country’s east coast on Friday and Saturday, according to “Reuters”.
The exercises come after North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the sea Thursday, and later North Korean warplanes flew near the border with South Korea.
“We will continue to enhance our operational capabilities and readiness to respond to any provocations by North Korea through joint exercises with the USS Ronald Reagan and its battle group,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
The US combat group has already participated in three-way missile defense exercises with warships from Japan and South Korea this week, following Tuesday’s test in which North Korea fired a ballistic missile that flew over part of Japan.
South Korea’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that senior defense officials from Japan, South Korea and the United States discussed the latest developments in Friday’s call.
They condemned the North Korean launches and agreed that the recent trilateral naval exercises had improved their ability to respond to North Korea.
The rare bombing maneuver, using at least eight North Korean fighter jets and four bombers Thursday, prompted South Korea to deploy 30 fighters.
Warplanes flew on both sides of the heavily fortified border amid rising tensions over a series of missile tests by Pyongyang.
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